Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm Back (at least I think I am)

Far too long.  That's how long it has been.  Simply far too long since I have taken the time out to sit and write.  It hasn't been that long since I've thought about writing...I think about it nearly every day.  But, to sit and write...that just hasn't happened in far too long.

So here I am, deciding that I must write.  Something.  Anything.  Words on a page to start the flow again.  I hope.

Why, pray tell, has it been so long?  Life, I suppose.  It managed to get busy...busier than I anticipated or hoped for.  It hasn't been an all bad kind of busy, but neither has it always been of the all good variety of busy either.  Some of it has been "fabulous and fun" busy-ness.  Some of it has been "I'd rather just bury my head in the sand" busy-ness.  And, in the midst of living this full life, I ran out of time and energy to stop and write.  Hopefully, it is just a hiccup.  Hopefully, I'll be back to writing on a somewhat regular basis again soon.

In the meantime, for the moment, I'll write about my kids.

I have three of the coolest kids ever.  They stretch me - sometimes to the point of pain - and challenge me in ways that I never imagined any kid could.  I see in each of them glimpses of the Divine... something He has put in each of them, to make me understand Him more.  And, I see in each of them glimpses of Ken and I as we rub off on them in our day to day.  That scares me, actually.  Unfortunately, I know that not all of me that is rubbing off is the very best of me.  Oh, would that I could be perfect in all circumstances for the sake of others!  It is those not so lovely rubbings that I pray God will overshadow with His grace and goodness.  He can do that, you know. And, every day, I see glimpses of the uniqueness of each of my children...that which sets them apart from the others and from me.  It is, all at once, wonderful and scary to watch them grow into their own.  Wonderful... as I see their unique gifts, talents, interests, and personalities more fully emerging.  Scary... as I see the that time only advances and there is no turning back the clock.  I cannot keep them young and under my wings forever.  Nor can I iron out all their imperfections (and, in truth, I shouldn't really want to). And, before I know it, my oldest will be leaving the nest. So, wonderful and scary as it is... I have three amazingly cool kids who are growing into amazingly cool people right before my eyes.

Tonight, during dinner, we discussed Thanksgiving...all that we have to be thankful for.  Our lists were long and full of good things, events, and people.  After talking about all that we are thankful for, however, we also discussed the reality that we are among the richest and healthiest people in the world.   Something to be thankful for?  Yes, absolutely!  But, it is also something that should make us uncomfortably thankful...and honestly unsettled.  It is something that should not be easy to swallow.

This is not a new discussion in our home.  It has, in fact, been a topic of previous posts.  And yet, each time we discuss it, it brings about the humbling and pressing reality that we must somehow respond .  As people who call ourselves followers of Jesus, we are responsible to care for the hurting in the world.  So, tonight we decided we would act by picking out and ordering items from the World Vision Gift Catalog.  The gifts were small, but meaningful and someone in the world and to us.  In the end, the children chose 5 ducks, 2 rabbits, 2 soccer balls, and a set of mosquito nets.  A tiny drop in a huge bucket.

The coolness of my kids came out during this time once again.  They discussed what they would like to give (it was way more than what we did give) and why.  They talked along with us about how sad it was that where you live might well determine how much you have or how likely you are to even survive.  Ben and Elly counted out loud to understand the horrifying statistic that every 6 seconds someone dies of malnutrition.  I did the math with Ben to figure out how many people that equals in one day.  Sobering.  And, near the end of the discussion,  Ben, honestly and sadly asked, "why does it seem like all these people "in danger" have brown or dark tan skin?" simply pointing out the obvious dominance of color on the pages of the World Vision Catalog.  Even my not-yet-6-year-old daughter knew there was something wrong with that.  A brief and certainly inadequate attempt was offered to begin unraveling that loaded question.  Ugh.  And then, the shopping continued.  In all of it, the excitement my kids experienced when trying to do something to help right the wrong was very cool.  When the gifts were ordered, there was a palpable energy in the room.  A moment of rightness in the reality of wrongness.

I hesitate at times to write about something like this, by the way.  I do not want anyone to think more highly of us than they ought...nor do I want to sound as if I am bragging.  Believe me, the amount that we spent in relationship to all that we have does not merit bragging rights.  It is, in fact, one of those things that, Biblically, we should do "in secret" (Matthew 6:4).  Yet, I guess I write it because maybe it will encourage someone else to do the same and because it is a way to share about how my kids are growing into themselves in really good ways.  And, selfishly, so that one of these days, when I feel grumpy about them being selfish over something, I can look back and read about tonight...when their thoughts were held captive by others, not themselves.

I hope to find my way back to the keyboard again this weekend.  It felt good to take the time to write after such a long time away.  Though, it is now far too late and I should be asleep.  Oh well.  Hopefully something good comes out of the words on the page that makes it worthwhile.  Good night and thanks for stopping by!